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Old 01-21-2010, 04:14 AM #1
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Question Diode pin soldering + thermal paste application techniques

Hey Guys,

I am a beginner at soldering, so I have been soldering wires together, and random wires to a circuit board for some practice. I felt I was ready to assemble my test load kit from rckstr. I didn't have any fine tipped tweezers, and the parts were smaller than I realized, but I think i got it all soldered properly (doesn't really look that great though). Even though it doesn't look fantastic, I am very happy I was able to make it.

I now want to solder the wires to my diode pins (PHR-803T). The problem is, when I was making wire to wire joints, they didn't turn out that great, no matter how many i did. My technique was to strip each wire end, roll the strands around to form a single thick strand, and intertwine each thick strand around the other. After that, put the iron directly to the strands and feed solder into (extremely close to the tip) the strands. I figured soldering pin to wire connections would be similar, but I didnt know for sure, and certainly dont feel like breaking my diode. I know almost everyone on here has broken a diode at least once, and im sure I will do it as well but I was wondering if someone could explain in as much detail as possible how to go about soldering a wire to the diode pin.

Things I have read on the forum :

1. Put the diode IN the housing + Heatsink in order to absorb heat during the solder process.
2. Limit your soldering to 1 to 2 seconds on the diode.
3. Use a low wattage iron
4. Use alligator clips to absorb even more heat (where exactly do i connect these alligator clips?)


As for my equipment, I do not have flux or liquid flux, the only flux I am using is in my solder. I'm using 60/40 standard solder, and using a variable 0-50 watt soldering iron (which I have on setting 4/10) so im guessing its 20 watts.

One last question... I have purchased some arctic silver thermal paste to put between my heatsink and axis module. I have built many PC's over the years and am familar with how to apply it to a CPU. The axis module and inside of the heatsink is round however, and I definately wont be able to fit a razor blade or card there to smooth out the surface and ensure only a thin coat is there. Does anyone have any good techniques for applying this?

Any input is greatly appreciated,
Thanks for your help!

- Redfeast


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Old 01-21-2010, 04:28 AM #2
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Default Re: Diode pin soldering + thermal paste application techniques

I use a 25 watt iron HOT.. It makes for quick solder joints. I have tinned all the wires before joining them so the solder wets everything quickly. Keep the tip of the iron clean with a wet sponge. I have never toasted a diode by soldering.
Arctic 5 is super stuff. use it very sparingly so it doesn't migrate to optic surfaces.

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Old 01-21-2010, 05:14 AM #3
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Default Re: Diode pin soldering + thermal paste application techniques

Congratulations on the test/dummy load

Now let's get your solders working right

Pre-tin BOTH the wire AND the pin
Use "extra hands" to hold the module/diode pin and the wire together
Use a bit of flux on BOTH wires and pins (rosin core solder is NOT enough)
Get a very small amount of solder on your iron
"Touch" the solder on your iron to the joint (it will only take a second)

< Practice this procedure until your wire-to-wire solders look smooth. THEN move on to wire-to-pin solders>

Peace,
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:01 AM #4
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Default Re: Diode pin soldering + thermal paste application techniques

I can't really add much, a good joint will look shiny and smooth, like a mirror. Otherwise it will not be a good bond.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:01 PM #5
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Default Re: Diode pin soldering + thermal paste application techniques

Quote:
Originally Posted by photonaholic View Post
I can't really add much, a good joint will look shiny and smooth, like a mirror. Otherwise it will not be a good bond.
Yup.
For ALL my soldering I have some simple tools:
Helping Hands w/ Magnifying Glass
15W Soldering Iron with a .1 tip
A wet sponge
Soldering Wick
Soldering Flux
Ive built alot of my custom boards I make and the DIY board kits with this setup only once did 1 circuit board fail because the component(s) supplied were bad.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:22 PM #6
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Default Re: Diode pin soldering + thermal paste application techniques

You asked where to attach the alligator clip. The clip is used as an additional heat-sink to absorb excess heat. IF you have room, clip it to the pin you are soldering, BETWEEN the diode and the tip of the pin. Just be careful you don't solder the alligator clip to the pin. lol IMO, a BETTER idea is to use a pair of very fine tipped tweezers instead of the alligator clip. It occupies less room, & you can attach it to the pin at the very base. You'll probably have to use a rubber band or a clothes pin (the kind with the spring) on the tweezers so they will "GRAB" what you attach them to. rob
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